SANDERSON, TX (Jan. 28, 2014) – The American Civil Rights Union has filed suit against a Texas county for having more registered voters than age-eligible residents. The suit marks the first legal action following the ACRU’s sending letters to 15 Texas counties in September informing them that they are in violation of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (Motor Voter Law).
In the complaint filed against officials in Terrell County on Jan. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, the ACRU alleges that:
“In 2013, just after the November 2012 federal election, Terrell County, Texas had 892 registered voters, despite having a voting age population of only 733 according to the 2010 United States Census. More than 121 percent of living citizens old enough to vote were registered to vote in Terrell County in 2013. This marked an increase from 118% in 2011.”
The suit asks the court to order county officials to “permit inspections of election records” as required by the Motor Voter Law. The ACRU also seeks “a declaration and an injunction requiring Defendant to conduct and execute effective voter list maintenance programs in a manner that is consistent with federal law.”
Last fall, the ACRU won historic victories in federal court regarding the same problem of badly kept voter rolls in two Mississippi counties – Walthall and Jefferson Davis.
The Jan. 27 Texas lawsuit was filed by ACRU Policy Board member J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department attorney who is leading the ACRU’s litigation team and who had filed the Mississippi lawsuits.
“We hope that as word spreads that election officials are ignoring the law at their own peril that more counties will do the right thing and clean up their voter rolls,” said Susan A. Carleson, the ACRU’s chairman and CEO.